I went for a hike the other day and saw the first leaf buds form a yellow green haze over bare branched trees. The wind was fresh and cool, and the sunshine felt like liquid gold on my skin. I am so ready to shed heavy winter clothes and climate-controlled indoor temperatures for linen and spring breezes. And, I’m ready to abandon heavy winter dishes in favor of asparagus and new potatoes and green salads.
The idea of eating with the seasons isn’t top of mind these days. After all, we can get tomatoes in January, pomegranates in July, and lettuce all year round. Back before we had a global transit system devoted to moving food around the world, eating with the seasons wasn’t some kind of luxury option. It was a necessity. The question is, is it still necessary?
The answer turns out to be a resounding “Yes!!” Dr. John Douillard of lifespa.com tells us that our gut microbes change throughout the seasons, and what we digest well in one season may be problematic in another. Winter is a time for heavy, warming foods, the kind that can potentially put padding on us to keep us toasty in the colder months. Come spring, the body is ready to shed the heaviness and extra packaging. If you listen, really listen, to your body, you may find that it is craving fresh, colorful vegetables and greens.
You don’t have to be dogmatic about eating with the seasons. Just include more foods that are in season and eat less foods that are obviously out of season. Spring foods tend to be more cleansing and less dense. Try young bitter greens like arugula, asparagus, green peas, lettuce and parsley, brothy soups that include lots of vegetables, and organic berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries . . . is your mouth watering yet?
This week I began mining the internet to find recipes to sate my palate. Here are three salads with ingredients like watercress, asparagus, new green peas, micro-greens, and mango. You may want to try them all for your Easter celebration, for your next Tuesday night dinner, or simply for the love of Spring.
Camille Watson is a health educator, speaker and published author of the book Eight Steps to a Real-Foods Kitchen. Her passion is to give individuals and groups the knowledge and tools they need to take back their health. If you are interested in learning more about achieving health through delicious, whole foods and lifestyle transformations, email firstname.lastname@example.org to attend one of her cooking classes or to schedule your free Health Strategy session.